California Government Goes Fishing

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California needs to get its priorities straight.  The Golden State is still recovering from an economic crisis, the scandal surrounding the former Governator, and laughing at the East Coast’s recent string of earthquakes and hurricanes.  So could someone please explain to me why California’s legislature is putting its time and effort into banning the sale, trade, and possession  of something as trivial as shark fins?

The bill was sent to Governor Jerry Brown by Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and is being supported by Senator Carol Liu (D-Pasadena) on grounds that it is meant to protect endangered shark species.  Some senators, like Ted Liu (D-Torrance), are calling the proposed bill racist because the fins are usually used in soups  enjoyed by some Asian cultures.

“This bill goes out of it way to be discriminatory,” Liu said in an Associated Press article .  “They single out one cultural practice.”

While I have no problems with ending shark fishing, don’t they have more important things to worry about?  I suppose this ties into California’s economic struggles because the state has the highest demand for fins outside Asia; the prospect of removing this industry should scare Californian economists.  But when race starts taking priority over the real issue, that’s when you know the California legislature has lost focus.

 Wouldn’t it make more sense to deal with the tuition hikes in the UC school system and the students protesting budget cuts before they put the spotlight on shark fishing?  California, if you have to use your energy on this bill, don’t waste more of it than necessary on trying to turn it into a racial issue.  Or better yet, go clean up your other messes first before trying to create a new one.

Photo: goosmurf at

Junior > Journalism > University of Maryland

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